08 December 2010

sounds good

In a world of add-on accessories for the accessories we all feel we need, ipod extras are everywhere ... so many variations on docks and speakers and electronic amplification out there.

A canadian company called Science&Sons have made about the coolest - and it doesn't need a power source.  They are on to their third incarnation of the 'Phonophone' - a ceramic horn which increases your pod/phone's volume to a pretty respectable 60dB, using old-school gramophone technology.

Surely as elegant and clever a solution as anyone has come up with ... below are pics of the 'Phonophone I' and 'Phonophone II' - both also amazing looking pieces.

So clever.

We have admit, though, we are pretty satsified with the results we get from sitting the ipod in a glass vase or fishbowl (no fish or water) - it can pretty much fill a room off it's own steam ...

03 December 2010

new brood

In other news, this great rainy spring has really motivated Mr and Mrs Swallow up at the farm ... 5 new chicks - just as ugly as the last clutch!


After a couple of years of talking about how the shop needed a freshen up, we took the plunge last week and did it.  Took us a few days (and many van-loads shifted into temporary storage), but we emptied it out and gave the store a re-paint. 

Walls, floors, ceilings, all white ...
So nice and clean we were tempted to just keep it that way ... maybe just pop the mac on a desk hooked up to our website so visitors could pick what they liked and we could deliver direct from storage.

We spent the weekend re-stocking, though.  Pretty pleased with the outcome.

Now we just need to keep it tidy.  Love a challenge!

12 November 2010

roadside critters

Native fauna sightings from 'round the farm (other than the ubiqitous kangaroos, of course) ...
... so you know how turtles are really slow ... we saw him on the road around a blind corner (100km/h zone), starting his crossing.  By the time we had stopped and turned around and gotten back he had made about 10 inches of progress and looked to be facing a 5 to 10 minute trip across the road.  So Cath picked him up and took him over to the other side ... he wouldn't pose for a photo after, though.

Less shy, but pointier ... just hanging out by the side of a dirt road, thankfully no need for picking up and moving.

nice rooms

just a couple of pictures we like ...
 ... nice little office setup, put together by a Swedish - Louise Svensson for GUTS.  We came across it amongst some great finds on emmas designblogg - a Stockholm lass who sources interior inspiration and posts some neat selections and links.

Okay - how's this for a loungeroom?
By B&Bitalia - via the fantastic doorsixteen blog - also well worth a visit.

kindred and kool

We are terrible late-night blog-surfers ... you know, find one entry that hooks you and you can write off the next 2 or 3 hours.

The latest one we're loving is kitka design - layer upon layer of nice and interesting.  A couple from Toronto, Canada, Juli&John run a cool-looking store called Mjolk (pronounced Mi-yelk), stocking a range of Scandinavian homewares.
What has made their blog so much fun is that as well as info about what's happening at their store, their travels, thrift store finds, and there are loads of updates as they renovate and redecorate their home (above the shop, it appears - which we can relate to), which they document with passion.  And their tastes are not too shabby either ...
Clean and minimal ... enviable restraint ...

AND we have really enjoyed following the progress of their do-up on their 'country place', which was an old family holiday home which they are bringing back from years of neglect and turning into something pretty special.  Again, a theme we live and love ...

Super-nice work thus far, guys.  Maybe we'll cross paths around the arctic circle sometime?

11 November 2010

for your convenience ...

Almost forgot ... our web address has been streamlined.  For those who find themselves getting too tired typing in -

 You can now save precious seconds with a swift -

for the same satisfying results.


From this ...

 ... to this!

That's major progress.  The shed is done ... and pretty full already ... definitely need to do some work on our 'good use of space' techniques.  We're pretty happy though - and getting plenty of use out of our allen-key collection turning it all back into furniture.

This is DEFINITELY the fun part ... assembling, polishing, repairing, cleaning ... we just have to stop picturing everything in our house and start imagininging more of it in the shop!  We are taking pics and gradually getting it all onto the website now - so keep an eye out.

update on the swallows

Been a bit lax on the blog these last few weeks ... seems to bee lots going on offline ... we'll do our best to catch up.

In baby-bird related matters, there has been much progress.  After all of their hard work, Mr+Mrs Swallow successfully raised a brood of 5!  (we talked to a few people in the know, and all seemed to think that of the 5, one or two wouldn't make it to bird-hood, so we have been pretty pleased with the outcome.).  The last couple of weeks, the nest has gotten ridiculously crowded - think the parents have had to sleep outside some nights.  This photo shows mum and dad, and one of the babies - the other 4 are all crammed underneath ...

Pretty funny.  Last week there were lots of flying lessons, and family trips to the dam, and it looks like all the kids have now packed up and moved out.

Gluttons for punishment, the adults have been repairing the nest again, and swooping us when we go near, so it looks like another clutch of eggs have been laid.

15 October 2010


Between Grand Central Station and the New York Public Library, in a city not necessarily renowned for it's great coffee ... D'espresso cafe ...
The interior was designed by Nema Workshop, and looks fantastico - a library tipped 90 degrees onto it's side.
Parquetry floor on the wall, bookshelves on floor and ceiling.  The coffee wouldn't even need to that good.  This interior features on plenty of blogs - try thecoolist for more pics.

god bless vinyl

The postman just brought us some treats ... a few reissues of our favorite hiphop albums all the way from sunny California ... already wearing out our fresh copy of Pauls Boutique.  Remember 'Hey Ladies'?
Such a highbrow bunch, those Beasite Boys ... here's an appropriately scratchy and rough copy of the video ... disco revival in the Hollywood Hills.

Beastie Boys - Hey Ladies

What's not to love?

life in the box

Hmmmmm - big metal box ... so much potential.  We're planning to turn ours into a lock-up workshop, maybe put a deck on top for the views, but having seen a bit of architect/artist/designer Adam Kalkin's work on architectureandhygiene, maybe we're lacking a little ambition ....
How's this pop-out cafe designed for illy (from a few years back now) - unfurls in 90 seconds at the push of a button ... and, most importantly, sells coffee!

Modding beats building anyday.  Nice slideshow here, too, showing a self-contained residential application ... oh, and Kalkin's PushButtonHouse2 ... super-cool!

looks good on paper

Back before fun had to be electronic and have a screen, paper dolls were a sweet way to play.  So long as somebody was available to cut out the tricky bits, a printed page could keep a kid entertained for hours ...
With access to a bit of discarded packaging, cardboard boxes can take it to the next level - small for a doll's house or large for a touch of junior architecture in constructing a fully fledged fort ...
But artist Don Lucho from Chile has taken it to the next level ...
We came across some photos of his work on styleofdesign (among plenty of great reading) - just makes us want to get a few rolls of masking tape and redecorate ...

Maybe we'll wait 'til these rains stop.

14 October 2010

the good wood

A frustrating part of this amazing interweb of ours is that you get to see fantastic and inspiring things that are too far away for you to have and touch ...

Been reading a bit about Rhode Island furniture makers STUDIO DUNN who make a compact range of beautiful and sustainable timber furniture ... really like their new Kingstown stools ...

The fine, spindly legs remind us of Ponti's 'Superleggera' chair, or some of Parker's finer 60's shapes ...

We'd love them teamed with one of local craftsman John D Waters' amazing and powerful (but so light on the eye) pieces - maybe his Ironbark bench as a kitchen setup ...

Or a set of 8 or 10 stools around his Bunya Table?

A cure for the city concrete blues!

logistics, eh?

Well ... the race has been run and won ... who would have though that a container of vintage furniture from Sunny Scandinavia would be able to sail halfway 'round the globe, pass thru customs, and take a truck-ride all the way to the farm faster than a pile of bits of tin ("yeah, mate, it'll take a couple of days to put up ... three at the most.") could be assembled into shed form?

EXHIBIT A (truck manouvering around bits of shed)

EXHIBIT B (photo taken standing atop container)

So there you go ... all good 'zen' training for us - a big steel box full of beautiful mid-century bibs'n'bobs, and we can't open it to unpack ... yet!

good ol' spring

The rain has been a welcome inconvenience, and the temperatures are up and down in what feels like a pretty random pattern, but you know that Spring is officially here when the swallows renovate their nest and start getting territorial ...

For a couple of weeks, the pair who live on our verandah were extremely busy collecting mud, grass and feathers to get their nest up to scratch ... but not as busy as they are now ...

Totally exciting - 4 babies - all ravenous, all constantly cheeping for more ... Mr and Mrs Swallow are looking skinnier and skinner by the day, but are keeping up with a pretty extreme demand.  Sure, it's a natural obligation, but for these ugly little monsters???